What is the best unit for your money starting out in this hobby of RC Helicopters - RC Groups
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Dec 07, 2007, 12:21 AM
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Help!

What is the best unit for your money starting out in this hobby of RC Helicopters


Hi Folks,
It looks like there are a lot of people with a lot of experience here at this site.
I would appreciate your help.
I am about to buy my first RC helicopter and would like advice on what would be the best one to get.
Looking for one that easy to fly,,,,,, looks like a twin rotor style.?
Durable, and isn't to difficult to get replacement parts for.
A suggestion of replacment parts getting through the training period would be appreciated also.

Thanks much!!!
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Dec 07, 2007, 12:51 AM
Dodging Birdstrikes
ESky Lama 3,4 or Robbins R22 = well made and durable with a reasonable price, downside is most LHS don't stock parts so you have to order spares off the net and it uses 72 Mhz. radios.
Blade CX or CX2 = well made and durable, most LHS stock parts, CX2 uses 2.4 Ghz. radios, downside is it's more expensive and CX uses 72 Mhz. radios.
Dec 07, 2007, 01:05 AM
Registered User
Will take a look at these.

Thanks much!!
Dec 07, 2007, 10:55 AM
Registered User
Go for the Lama v4. You won't regret it and you'll save a ton of money. miraclemart.com has the Lama v4 on sale for 65 bucks right now.
Dec 07, 2007, 01:18 PM
Registered User
JWilliams2's Avatar
Apparently the blade CX has a lot of parts that work in the Lama. I also don't consider 72 vs 2.4 of any consequence for an indoor heli.

Miraclemart is selling that for cheap but I bet they kill you on shipping. Raidentech sells the V4 for $88 with free shipping (google for the raidentech code). Its resellerratings are iffy but the one I ordered last week shipped immediately and I got it yesterday.
Dec 07, 2007, 08:22 PM
Registered User
Thanks much for the replys!!

Looks like the lama V4 is well liked.
Thanks for the input on where to buy to.

JWillams,
Thanks for the input on the 72 versus 2.4, I do have a question on this.

What is the advantage between the two?
Suspecting the 2.4 has further distance capability?

Will the 72 work outside?, just incase the wife isn't humored or entertained by the training sessions.
Dec 07, 2007, 11:18 PM
Dodging Birdstrikes
Quote:
Originally Posted by gofly1
Thanks much for the replys!!

Looks like the lama V4 is well liked.
Thanks for the input on where to buy to.

JWillams,
Thanks for the input on the 72 versus 2.4, I do have a question on this.

What is the advantage between the two?
Suspecting the 2.4 has further distance capability?

Will the 72 work outside?, just incase the wife isn't humored or entertained by the training sessions.
72 Mhz. VHF FM will work outside and is the old standard frequency for analog radio controlled aircraft, 2.4 Ghz. Microwave Digital is the new radio frequency for digital R.C. systems,microwave ovens,cordless telephones and computer Wi-Fi networking. Lower frequencies = longer range, I am a ham radio operator and can send a signal around the world with 1 watt of power at 14 Mhz. HF while at 50 Mhz VHF LOW that same 1 watt of power will get me about 3-5 miles and at 146 Mhz VHF High 1 watt is good for about a mile , at 440 Mhz. UHF 1 watt = about 1/2 to 3/4 mile. Radio waves at 2.4 Ghz. are the right size to be absorbed by water molecules thats why the frequency range is used by microwave ovens. 2.4 Ghz. is a digital system where the RX locks on to the signal from your TX and rejects signals from other TXs in the area. 72 Mhz. is a analog system that is subject to interference at crowded flying fields.
Dec 08, 2007, 07:45 AM
Registered User
Well, that kinda glosses over a lot of things, like modern receivers can pick out very very weak signals that no one could tell you weas there. Comparing old analog technologies stuff to modern equipment is like apples to oranges. (not saying ham radio doesn't have a point mind you) If you fly with groups frequency selection, crystals, etc all suck. Antenna's on heli's suck too, you can't hide them in that nice long fuselage like on most planes.

I'm not sure the range on the 2.4ghz, but the radio that comes with the CX2 is labled low power as it is, and doesn't go more than 300 feet. The down side to 2.4ghz is the price at the moment. The retail cost (BS) for the receiver is $50 since there's only 1 vendor at the moment.

2.4ghz isn't the only deciding factor, if you want to go to your LHS and buy parts today you should see what they stock. If you don't mind crashing and waiting a week for parts then don't worry about that. For my 5g6 I keep a local stash or parts that are easy to break.
Dec 08, 2007, 03:46 PM
Registered User
WOW!!

Thanks, Parrot ATC, and boren,
Parrot, fantasic job of putting a lot of information in a nut shell, that a beginner like myself can understand.
boren, for expanding in to it even further and adding the pluses and minuses.
All good stuff!!

I ordered a LAMA V4 last night.
I am at least 30 miles away from any LHS, so I will most likely be doing the week wait for replacment parts.
Ordered extra blades, battery and training kit.

Would like more info on what other parts are good to have on hand, prone to break for this model.

Also, Batteries,
I see they offer stronger powered batteries for these units.
Is this a good choice??



Thanks much to all of you!!

Wishing you all, Many pleasurable flights and soft landings,
Dec 08, 2007, 07:17 PM
Dodging Birdstrikes
Stock up on Rotor Blades (I used up more B blades that A blades but ymmv) and the orignal landing skids tend to break early but I think the skids from the Blade CX2 will fit and are stronger or you can pickup a set of superskids off the net. Helihobby.com has the stock ESky Li-Po battery packs for about $12 and dealextream.com has mystery brand Li-po packs that will fit for about $9. Weight is the enemy of helicopters,try to keep the weight down for longer flight times and less motor brush wear. The secret to racking up airtime is not how many battery packs you have,it's how many battery chargers you have. 1 charger and 6 packs = 1 hour airtime every 6 hours of charge time, 6 chargers and 6 packs = only land to refuel/change packs.
Glad I was able to help.
Soft landings!
Dec 08, 2007, 08:56 PM
Registered User
rbinc's Avatar
Quote:
Well, that kinda glosses over a lot of things, like modern receivers can pick out very very weak signals that no one could tell you weas there
No, he did a good job at explaining sinusoidal RF. The reason that Morse code prevails as the ultimate last resource of civil emergency communications is that, at low frequencies and power levels, it will be "picked out" at tremendous range, with good clarity.

Early 20th century communications will absolutely prevail if and when they are ever required. Einstein said he had no clue how WW3 would be fought but that WW4 would be fought with sticks and stones. We all hope this will never be the case, but when primitive people first communicate again with radio, it won't be any more advanced than Morse code.

Quote:
Comparing old analog technologies stuff to modern equipment is like apples to oranges. (not saying ham radio doesn't have a point mind you)
He isn't comparing technology at all but explaining the differences in propogation of radio waves. An AC radio wave remains unchanged in its nature regardless of its frequency. He correctly explained the difference in wave lengths from low to high frequencies and vice-versa. What one does to encode information within that wave is beside the point and he did not address that.

Quote:
I'm not sure the range on the 2.4ghz, but the radio that comes with the CX2 is labled low power as it is, and doesn't go more than 300 feet.
Is there any real chance that you would be able to visually control a CX2 at the far end of a football field with any accuracy? FWIW, I have line-of-sight tested the 6100e to about 600 feet without issue. Keep in mind that most real helis flown with 2.4 gHz have more than one receiver to compensate for line-of-sight limitations and the potential loss of communication. Szabo takes helis nearly out of vertical sight with a DX7.

Quote:
The down side to 2.4ghz is the price at the moment. The retail cost (BS) for the receiver is $50 since there's only 1 vendor at the moment.
The upside is that it is the future because spread-spectrum technology at this frequency eliminates interference and channel conflicts. Again, has nothing to do with "analog" deficiencies because all radio waves remain "analog" by their nature. There exists no "digital" radio wave. Spektrum adopted the SS 2.4 gHz band and made the most of it.

ALL TX manufacturers have jumped on the Spektrum bandwagon and there are at least 4 that offer the technology right now.

You seem somewhat antagonistic and combative in your posts. I would ask...why? Can't we post about what we know to be true from knowledge and experience rather than postulate in what we don't know?

Regards
Dec 09, 2007, 07:02 AM
Registered User
rbinc,

I just knew some old ham was going to get upset and I was trying to avoid that. The power required to get morse or a voice signal through to a human ear is meaningless and irrelevant when you're trying to control an RC plane. A computer can pick out a signal the human could never hear, but it's all irrelevant to RC control, and so is ionic skip, etc. None of this diminishes the need for ham radio either. Let's keep this on topic, I've had my say, you've had yours, etc.

The 6100e isn't the problem, it's the transmitter, the LP<something or other>. It's part of the package that comes with the CX2. Also Spektrum is a trade name, and DSM/DSM2 is their patented protocol, so that means royalties back to the them. I haven't read the patent but I'm assuming there's no reason someone else can't do 2.4ghz solution without violating the patent. Competition is always good, and that should make an RX with $2 in parts not be sold for $50.
Dec 09, 2007, 07:21 AM
registered user
Jetskeeter's Avatar
Hi, if you decide on the V4 order spare blades with it. I broke a lot of blades when I was learning to hover my V4. It's like my favorite toy now. I try to fly it every day.
Dec 09, 2007, 08:12 PM
Registered User
rbinc's Avatar
Quote:
I just knew some old ham was going to get upset and I was trying to avoid that. The power required to get morse or a voice signal through to a human ear is meaningless and irrelevant when you're trying to control an RC plane.
Look, gofly1 asked a question about the advantages/disadvantages of 72 mHz v 2.4 gHz. Parrot ATC did an exceptional job (in lay terms for those that are not old hams) of explaining the differences in propogation of these frequencies. This old ham is only "upset" (and believe me I am not, it will take much more to upset me) because you dismissed his post as "glossing over a lot of things". He was not asked to address comparisons between CW Morse (it's with a capital M because it is named after Samuel Morse) and microwave spread spectrum. I illustrated the differences, for you, in order to explain the differences in the propogation of RF wavelength. What is meaningless, and disingeuous, is for you to suggest that I am in any way comparing low-frequency CW Morse code and current R/C control systems.

Quote:
A computer can pick out a signal the human could never hear, but it's all irrelevant to RC control
Read back and tell when this was ever in question?

Quote:
and so is ionic skip, etc.
Agreed. Using skip to control a model is less than ideal.

Quote:
None of this diminishes the need for ham radio either. Let's keep this on topic, I've had my say, you've had yours, etc.
Actually, the need for ham radio has been drastically reduced. I don't even bother with it much anymore and there are too many old hams out there that have nothing to say. But, I'll keep my old "Heathkit" and CW key just in case.

Quote:
The 6100e isn't the problem, it's the transmitter, the LP<something or other>. It's part of the package that comes with the CX2.
The LP5DSM and DX7 both easily range-check my CX2s at over 500 feet(clear line of sight). I can barely see the red spot of a CX2 at this range and there is no chance I (or anyone else) could fly it under control at this range. There simply is no inherent problem in the 6100e or either TX.

Quote:
Also Spektrum is a trade name, and DSM/DSM2 is their patented protocol, so that means royalties back to the them.
Correct. It is the brand name of the inventor and anyone that uses their technology does pay "royalties" to Spektrum.

Quote:
I haven't read the patent but I'm assuming there's no reason someone else can't do 2.4ghz solution without violating the patent.
They could, but not with Spektrum's DSM technology. This is why all the other manufacturers (even Airtronics now) touts their TXs as "2.4 gHz Spektrum technology". DSM is patented.

Quote:
Competition is always good, and that should make an RX with $2 in parts not be sold for $50.
$2 in parts comes nowhere near the actual cost that Spektrum spent in developing the ASICs, software, manufacturing, marketing and distribution investment. Dude, have you no clue how markets work?

Anyway, you want a truce at this point?

Happy Holidays.
Dec 11, 2007, 12:56 AM
Registered User
OK,,, well I have gotten educated on frequencies, high, low and some of the history behind it.
Thanks there rbinc and boren.
Definitely a spirited conversation.



I have been out hunting around this site, have learned a lot, but also have generated more questions that I haven't found answers to yet.




Looks like I will be going through a lot of blades.

Wondering if going with the extreme hard blades is a good decision for a beginner?
If the blades don't break, will I be breaking or bending more costly items, or is the savings in blades worth the cost of other items?


Prop wash;
When my copter finally arrives, I will need to learn how to hover first from what I understand.
Am I best staying low to the floor (and away from the walls) or should I try to get up about 18" or more?
Will I have problems from prop wash low to the floor or will the ground effect help out and be to low for the prop wash to be an issue?

Thinking I should start a new thread for these questions, but then, anybody that is thinking about getting in to this hobby will have some of the same questions.

Something I discovered, batteries,,,,,,
You mean you don't just throw them in, run them dead, charge and run them dead again??? NO!!
De-charge, balance, and, batteries bursting in to flames!,,, dang, this could get real exciting!!


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